ROME, May 3 – We World, an International NGO has evaluated and rated 170 countries based on their ability to include women, adolescents, girls and boys in social life. Rankings, divided into five rating categories, place Norway first and the Central African Republic last, with Italy holding its spot at twenty-first, motionless in the last two years.
Now in its third edition, the WE World Index 2017 was presented today in Rome and portrayed a partially dismal picture of the conditions which the four segments of the population that were taken into account – chosen because they represent both the most vulnerable part of society and the future of their countries – are forced to endure across the five continents. The degree of marginalization, the completed steps towards policies inclusion and the pace of development were all surveyed.
The We World Index differs from other statistical reports in that it gives less weight to economic data alone, and uses criteria that emphasize the interrelation between women and minors, thereby taking into account the living conditions of “individuals who share a common destiny”.
Marco Chiesara, President of the NGO, explains that the 34 indicators that were used were chosen because considered indispensable not only for the countries that were evaluated but also to assess alignment and implementation with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Indicators thus included the environment, gender-based violence, education, health, access to information, the existence of armed conflict, economic and employment opportunities and security. Research delved deep into each community’s social fabric, analyzing, for example, the number of available internet connections, the percentage of the population with access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, corruption and homicide rates, generation and gender gaps, and rates of infant mortality and adult literacy.
Whereas Chiesara reiterated that the 2030 goals are attainable “if no one is left behind”, Giovannini, in his capacity as Spokesman for the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (Asvis, which contributed to the report along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), illustrated practical plans to keep these issues from sinking into everyday indifference. “The media”, he suggests, “must take charge in debating the goals, not just once a year, but constantly, providing services, investigative reports and enough space to keep public attention from faltering.” Furthermore, all policies adopted in the EU, and in Italy in particular, should include reports that measure their effects in terms of how they meet or fail to meet the 2030 goals. The dynamics at work in each country need to be defined making it possible to establish what changes, if any, take place from one year to the next.
Whereas it is true that Italy is among the top contributors to Cooperation efforts, prioritizing aid to women and children in Africa (39% of available resources, points out Alessandra Piermattei with the Agency for Cooperation), domestically it “is not doing enough” to comply with inclusion criteria, said Sandra Zampa, Vice-president of the parliamentary Commission on infancy and adolescence.
“The most disconcerting thing,” she remarks “is not that Italy ranked twenty-first, but the fact that our country is among the founders of the European Union and it is precisely on these themes that it built its political, economic, and even ethical pillars.”
Starting with the assumption that “if we don’t implement inclusion, we are building a dreadful future”, Zampa recalls the advances made by Italy with policy and legislation such as the Law on poverty, on education poverty, on violence and cyber-bullying, the Decree known as “years 0 to 6”, the subsidies allotted to disabilities and “creativity”, warranting that 5% of the 55 thousand teachers will engage in art, music and other activities that foster ingenuity. “It is true, these measures are not yet enough” she adds, “but they affect us all and that’s why we must keep working on them”.
After all, the numbers speak volumes: out of 170 countries more than half rank in the bottom three rating categories (inclusion that is insufficient, severely lacking and very severely lacking) and only 19 (almost all of which are in Europe, plus Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand) rank in the “Good Inclusion” category. We World predicts that “if we don’t take action by 2030, the current population of women and persons under 18 that live in countries that ranked in the “severely lacking” and “very severely lacking” echelons, will increase by 286 million; the same number of people living in all of Western Europe today”
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